The week was filled with glitz and glamor from the red-carpets; off to the runway and straight to the streets with style.
It was a not-so-blue Monday as GQ Magazine kick started the week with their annual BEST DRESSED MEN awards in association with Jameson Irish Whisky. Apart from the majority of the top 50 best dressed men not receiving correspondence regarding their invitation to attend the event, I decided to go and gate-crush the party. It was yet another evening to honour South Africa’s elites making waves with their fashionable and stylish substance. As usual the list was equally balanced with gentlemen from different industries and not only from the fashion world. This shows how looking good shouldn’t be synonymous with being in the fashion industry only. It has become a necessity for most men and numbers keep increasing as we see men renovating their wardrobe. That has also boosted a lot of their confidence with their day-to-day jobs and the approach to life challenges.
Simultaneously on the same evening it was the pre-party of South African Fashion Week in association with Cruz Vodka. A good evening to get all the ZALBES together to catch-up and drink away the past weekend hangover. The red-carpet was filled with all the glamorous and sophisticated people from both the fashion and the entertainment world. It was the perfect evening for the media people to unwind with these ZALEBS before the long and demanding week filled with high fashion on the runway.
SAFW was in Sandton City’s rooftop, surrounded by breath-taking skyscrapers of the richest square mile in Africa for yet another epic fashion filled show. It has become evident that SAFW is all about the business of fashion and it continued to show that with the line-up increasing every season. The runway action kick-started on Tuesday and went all the way until Saturday with trade fair for buyers taking place concurrently between shows. Yours suitably was there to catch all the excitement brought by the debutants; underdogs and OGs of SA fashion. It was mixed emotions heading into the auditorium, it made me reminisce over my past article about “Behind the Lens” & “Fashion Weeks/Front Rows”. Both these article gave me flashbacks of two of the most influential people that sadly left us. I had to dedicate those to article to the late Ivan Naude and Jenny Andrew respectively, the runway was not the same without them. Let me dive into what went down the runway:-
Making his second entrance on the SAFW ramp and as the winner of the menswear designer scout competition earlier this year, he came back to give us a continuation of his craft. The story of this collection was not different to the previous one, however this one displayed the essence of the fall season. With his minimalistic and monochrome approach made it easy for the collection to mutually blend with the winter season. A true samurai look with a touch of galactic chic, thanks to the out of this world accessories. I use the word chic as he continues to blur the line between genders as these can be worn by both.
The OG of the fashion game, Ephraim never compromise and that’s why he’s still in the game and killing it. Season after season, he gives us rich and luxurious fabric choices and this time he did just that. EPHYMOL is what I call “high sartorial fashion”, something which has slightly faded away on the runway. Everything with this collection and on every look, from tones and patterns they all blends and coordinates well with one another. He continued to use the timeless checked and fused it softly with fur and the main colours were deeply toned to depict the fall season…“sartorially warm”.
Floyd is also a former winner of the menswear scout competition and he too continued to show us why he deserved to win. He kept his authenticity of style and the construction methods as he gave us the deconstructed military look. It was not the usual military camouflage, this particular looked like floral prints from a distance which blended perfectly well with the background of the ramp. And as usual, Floyd’s collection was a mixture of sportswear and street-style and something that one can’t find a copy of it anywhere but at Floyd Avenue.
Ryan Keys of Keys Fashion which is a well-known designer that’s in the ranks of GJC with red-carpet couture gowns. This time around he debuted a menswear collection which was all springing with style. The collection was so summery, the models looked like they were at the French Riviera for the summer vacation. The collection was simple yet sophisticated with models wearing their suits shirtless styled with a silk scarf folded backwards. Growing at a steady pace in the fashion industry, he now kills two birds with one stone catering for him and her.
VINTAGE x AFRO_PUNK
Vintage Zionist is another duo that was initially know for ladies wear and this time around in collaboration with AFRO_PUNK they had a mixture of both ladies and menswear. They also stayed true to their style DNA of old school 80s Rock ‘n Roll. They displayed a free-spirited born-again punk with deconstructed torn-up denims; oversized sleeved shirts; cropped leather jackets and finished it off with vintage Dr Martens Boots. The Zionist men looked ragged yet stylishly clean.
After two night of fast-forward menswear fashion, myself and the Myrmidons were out to slay in Parkhurst at BAR BER BLACK SHEEP. As usual we met again with other suitable men and caused a traffic jam on Bolton road and Jan Smut Avenue. Apart from peacocking on the streets of the north we had another good session of networking with stylish gentlemen from different fields. We also had a good conversation about the fashion industry and the future of sartorial menswear in Mzansi.
After all of that we ended a day by honouring Sir Jasper Newton Daniel, well known as Jack Daniel. Jack Daniel’s being the most sold whiskey in the world we had virtual briefing and tasting of the three family bottles, The Old No.7; Gentleman Jack and The Single Barrel. Like any other Suitable Sunday session we leave each other as the sun set having learnt something new. The most important part is always making new friends and growing the brotherhood in the name of progressive fashion and style.
It was indeed as fashion filled week, kick-started with a bang and shutdown with show stopping style of the Spartans. A special thanks to Eunice Driver Photography // Official SAFW Collections Photographer; Lizmarie Richardson Photography & Henry Marsh Photography // Official SAFW Social Photographer
Until next time, stay stylish